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View Poll Results: Do you think it might work?
You're crazy! 23 41.07%
Can't be done! 1 1.79%
Dumb idea! 8 14.29%
Might just work. 26 46.43%
No comment. 4 7.14%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 56. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-22-2013, 10:25 PM   #21
Ol' Ron
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Default Re: I'm considering powering a homebuilt airplane with a Ford V-8 Flathead

I'd go with a stroker assy, 294ci, alittle compression and definitely EFI. This should produce some decent Torque ar 2500. Our first airplane was a 1947 Commonwealth with 85 hp and the ROC indicator was calibrated in furlongs=gs per fortnight, but it was allot of fun to fly..
PS maybe an L-100 cam, naw!!
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:26 PM   #22
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Default Re: I'm considering powering a homebuilt airplane with a Ford V-8 Flathead

What about the aluminum engines someone was making, that would be the answer. Maybe the radiator in the rear tube?? G.M.
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Old 09-23-2013, 12:57 AM   #23
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Default Re: I'm considering powering a homebuilt airplane with a Ford V-8 Flathead

Here is a Flathead V8 aircraft for you, for the life of me I just can't remember the name of the darn thing!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPxBZT5wouU
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:05 AM   #24
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Default Re: I'm considering powering a homebuilt airplane with a Ford V-8 Flathead

Another http://www.dmairfield.org/airplanes/NC16470/index.html
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:06 AM   #25
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Default Re: I'm considering powering a homebuilt airplane with a Ford V-8 Flathead

The Arrow Model F or the Arrow Sport V-8 was a two-seat low-wing braced monoplane aircraft built in the United States between 1934 and 1938. It was built originally to a request by the US Bureau of Air Commerce to investigate the feasibility of using automobile engines to power aircraft. Accordingly, the Model F was fitted with a modified Ford V8 engine. Like the Arrow Sport before it, the Model F seated its pilot and passenger side-by-side in an open cockpit and was marketed for $1500.[1]
A preserved example is on display at San Francisco International Airport.
Development

The Arrow Sport F was specifically built to accommodate the low-cost, yet heavy Arrow F V-8 engine, an aircraft modification of the Ford V-8. The engine was designed by Ford Engineer David E. Anderson with an aluminum oil pan, aluminum cylnders, and a 2:1 gear reduction to drive the prop at reasonable rpm ranges. The engine weighed 402 lbs for 85 hp vrs 182 lbs for an equivalent Continental aircraft engine.[2]
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:07 AM   #26
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OK, last one!

http://www.homebuiltairplanes.com/fo...-f-300x297.jpg
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:34 AM   #27
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Default Re: I'm considering powering a homebuilt airplane with a Ford V-8 Flathead

Fordors,
So it looks like the V8 is about 150lbs heavier than the Model A engine. That's not too bad. And with some careful parts substitutions (heads, etc like you mentioned) that weight could be brought to within 100lbs of the Model A engine. (After subtracting the tranny from the equation, of course.) Therefore, the extra 100lbs won't be a killer to the idea but there's still lots of other parameters to check before this project gets the green light.

Bad Daddy,
Many thanks for that list! It will help a lot.

Everyone else,
Thanks for the pictures and articles of aircraft that used the Ford V8. There were quite a few designs and I wonder what kept them from being more plentiful? WWII maybe?

Harvey
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:29 AM   #28
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Default Re: I'm considering powering a homebuilt airplane with a Ford V-8 Flathead

Everyone disses the 60 hp v8 of 1937-40 but with their 1/2 inch thick cylinder walls they can bored out a great deal. With proper speed equipment their horsepower can be more than doubled.Read the book on them.Now watch for the disagreements.
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Old 09-23-2013, 05:46 AM   #29
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Default Re: I'm considering powering a homebuilt airplane with a Ford V-8 Flathead

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Originally Posted by Dave D View Post
Here is a Flathead V8 aircraft for you, for the life of me I just can't remember the name of the darn thing!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPxBZT5wouU

HUH? Maybe a marine version because it counter rotational??????

Special propeller?
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:03 AM   #30
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Default Re: I'm considering powering a homebuilt airplane with a Ford V-8 Flathead

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HUH? Maybe a marine version because it counter rotational??????

Special propeller?
It's counter rotational because of the gear reduction mounted to the bell housing. (not marine)
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:55 AM   #31
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Default Re: I'm considering powering a homebuilt airplane with a Ford V-8 Flathead

The structure would not be strong enough. Just take a look at the wood spars and spindley ribs. The landing gear with those spokes do not look beafy enough to support that much weight either. I have been watching a homebuilder build his and it just dont look safe to me even with a 65 hp cont that is 170lbs.
I highly recommend a different choice! You will have a very hard time passing the inspections with such a mod from the original FAA approved design, home built or not.

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Old 09-23-2013, 08:19 AM   #32
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Default Re: I'm considering powering a homebuilt airplane with a Ford V-8 Flathead

Let's see a photo of the Stearman.
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:55 AM   #33
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Default Re: I'm considering powering a homebuilt airplane with a Ford V-8 Flathead

ThomasN,

Thanks for your input. The one plane that Mr Pietenpol built with a V8 was built specifically with the extra weight of the V8 engine in mind. Even the wing chord was increased from 5ft to 6ft to provide increased lift. It would be logical to assume that the landing gear and its fuselage attachment points were beefed up as well.

By the way, the FAA doesn't approve or disapprove homebuilt designs. It is up to each builder to determine that his or her aircraft is flyable upon completion. In addition, the "inspections" are to ensure compliance with approved aircraft construction techniques (i.e. using bolts to mount an engine instead of duct tape) and to make sure that the aircraft continues to be in an airworthy condition (i.e. the wood spars aren't starting to rot). Otherwise, the FAA doesn't determine whether a particular homebuilt design is a good or bad one. The FAA leaves that decision up to the person who intends to fly it. (The person who's betting his life on the design.) However, aviation insurance companies also have a major say in what flies and what doesn't (i.e. what they're willing to insure, and what they won't).

Before somebody posts that the FAA should be more responsible in ensuring that all homebuilt designs are safe, notice that the current policy is similar to how your hot rods are "approved" or "disapproved" for operation on public streets. The DMV doesn't determine whether your car is drivable or not. All it cares about is whether it will fit in amongst the other traffic (i.e. doesn't have its headlights 18ft above ground), incorporates some mandatory safety standards (seat belts, safety glass, etc) and that you used sound construction techniques (again, no duct tape). And much like aviation, the ultimate decision on whether your hot rod ever leaves your driveway may rest on your ability to get insurance for it.

Harvey
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:04 AM   #34
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Default Re: I'm considering powering a homebuilt airplane with a Ford V-8 Flathead

You may be in luck with the new aluminum version flathead engine. This would cure the nose weight problem. Last word that i heard was there is an ok given 10 aluminum engines to be built. This wont be a cheap item but then again planes are cheap either so its a toss up. Having ridden in the test mule engine powered car i can say that this engine does perform and run very smoothly. You should contact mark kirby for more information
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:11 AM   #35
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Default Re: I'm considering powering a homebuilt airplane with a Ford V-8 Flathead

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You may be in luck with the new aluminum version flathead engine. This wont be a cheap item but then again planes aren't cheap either so its a toss up.
The good thing about our consumer-driven economy is that successful products get sold, and the more sold usually means prices come down.

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Old 09-23-2013, 09:15 AM   #36
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Default Re: I'm considering powering a homebuilt airplane with a Ford V-8 Flathead

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Let's see a photo of the Stearman.
Here ya go Tony. It's getting close to flying.

Harvey
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:00 AM   #37
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Default Re: I'm considering powering a homebuilt airplane with a Ford V-8 Flathead

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Let's see a photo of the Stearman.
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Originally Posted by HarveyH View Post
Here ya go Tony. It's getting close to flying.

Harvey
Harvey...Interestingly, the OKC "paperwork" on that thing shows it had a 1340 on it back in a previous, "working" day?!?! Musta been a beast! DD

Engine ManufacturerP&W ClassificationRestrictedEngine ModelR1340 SERIES CategoryAgriculture and Pest Control</SPAN> A/W Date03/15/1956Engine ManufacturerP&W ClassificationRestrictedEngine ModelR1340 SERIES CategoryAgriculture and Pest Control</SPAN> A/W Date03/15/1956

Engine ManufacturerP&W ClassificationRestrictedEngine ModelR1340 SERIES CategoryAgriculture and Pest Control</SPAN> A/W Date03/15/1956
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:04 AM   #38
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Default Re: I'm considering powering a homebuilt airplane with a Ford V-8 Flathead

Yor credentials give you a leg up on the building of established kit designs like the Pietenpol. If you have an engineering degree in aeronautical sciences then you can design your own. With all this knowledge you are also likely to know that automobile engines are not good designs for turning a propeller in their OEM state. No one to my knowledge has ventured into the reengineering of an engine that has limited horse power and high weight to HP already built in. This challenge might be do-able but it also might be more trouble and expense than it's worth. The Pietenpol was never know to be a fantastic performer but it does fly. An aluminum case engine with a heavy journal bearing for the prop would have made it fly better but it was a design that could be built by the home DIY guy in his spare time with much of the raw material being locally accessible. Materials for a prop reduction gearbox are a whole different matter. A guy would need a sizeable radiator too plus all the plumbing for an adaquate cooling system.
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:16 AM   #39
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Default Re: I'm considering powering a homebuilt airplane with a Ford V-8 Flathead

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Harvey...Interestingly, the OKC "paperwork" on that thing shows it had a 1340 on it back in a previous, "working" day?!?! Musta been a beast! DD
Hi Dave,

Yes, she was a crop duster after the war and was fitted with a 600hp P&W (firewall forward off a T-6). I got the airplane without an engine and prop so the choice of power was up to me. Since I already had Jacobs experience, tools, and spare parts due to my LC-126 (C195), I opted to install an R755 and Ham-Std C/S prop (FWF duplicate of the LC/195). The 275hp Jake is a nice improvement over the original 225hp Continental but without the vulgar fuel burn of the popular P&W 450hp installation.

If you're a retired FAA Systems Engineer from the Houston area, we might know some common people.

Harvey
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:30 AM   #40
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Default Re: I'm considering powering a homebuilt airplane with a Ford V-8 Flathead

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...you are also likely to know that automobile engines are not good designs for turning a propeller in their OEM state. No one to my knowledge has ventured into the reengineering of an engine that has limited horse power and high weight to HP already built in. This challenge might be do-able but it also might be more trouble and expense than it's worth...
Wrench,

You are very correct in that there are waaaaaay better engine choices for an aircraft than a converted 80 year old truck motor. However, you've overlooked the primary driving force behind the homebuilt aircraft movement: We build what we want, not necessarily what's best.

Not much different than the Hot Rodder's mantra, doncha think?

Harvey
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